Ethics, Values And Self Awareness

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Ethics, Values and Self-awareness: What I Bring to Social Work As I learn about the social work field, I gain increasingly clear perspectives from which I can begin to discern the inherent strengths and challenges I will bring to my practice. In my experience, challenging character traits often correspond with positive ones that offer opportunities for balance through integration. To follow, I reflect on some of these aspects of myself accordingly. Leadership and assertiveness vs. ‘the need to be in charge’ In his textbook, Choices: Interviewing and counselling skills for Canadians (2014), Bob Shelbib describes the role of social justice within the social work field, referring to its intrinsic role in social work practice through the activities of advocacy, political action, education and community building (p.3). All of these activities require assertiveness and a willingness to lead. These traits can manifest, however, as either strengths or weaknesses, depending on self-awareness. Although I have always had a natural tendency to lead, I have learned that flexibility regarding my role in group activities is necessary for several reasons: there are great learning opportunities unique to ancillary positions; others with interest or investment in the role may have more appropriate skills or resources than I do; too much responsibility can spread my resources too thin; and alienation of others and unnecessary conflict is often the result of an inability to take a supportive

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